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How The Block won the 2016 ratings war


An average of 980,326 Australians watch each episode.

So on Sunday night, The Block 2016 will reach its climax. The team of Blocksperts encourage you to join our live recap on the night while you're watching. You shouldn't need much encouragement, as the ratings data suggests this will definitely be the most-watched show on free to air TV.

The Block has been a consistent ratings success across the season, which is more than you can say for some of Channel Nine's other attempts this year. The chart below shows the ratings for every episode up to this week (we won't know those properly for a few days since Nine fast-tracked them because of the cricket finishing early, which messes up OzTAM's tracking.) Hover over any dot to see the ratings for that day.

These are the combined overnight ratings for Australia's 5 biggest capital cities. Catch-up viewing over the next seven days typically adds between 50,000 and 80,000 more viewers - nothing to sneeze at, but not a number that really changes the ratings picture. Like most reality TV, The Block is designed to be watched live, even if it is all carefully filmed and edited months in advance.

Block viewing follows a clear pattern: Sunday night room reveals always rate the highest, followed by a drop-off during the duller mid-week episodes. There's been a slight increase over the season, but on the whole the figures are fairly consistent.

Quite often, The Block is the #1 show on the night. That's tougher on a weeknight, when the top 4 positions are generally taken by the 6pm news bulletins on Seven and Nine, and then by their follow-up shows. But in the modern TV environment, consistently getting near a million every single time is a massive deal. The only other shows that can be trusted to deliver that kind of performance are Masterchef on Ten and My Kitchen Rules on Seven.

The reality is that free-to-air is slowly dying as a mass market medium. For dramas and movies, streaming looks like the way of the future. And while free-to-air broadcasters are trying to make streaming easier with dedicated apps, live viewers for reality TV look like their meal ticket for the next few years.

For the data freaks, here are the individual five-city ratings and positions for every episode up to last week. See you on Sunday!

Episode 11,075,0001
Episode 2962,0007
Episode 3945,0005
Episode 41,150,0004
Episode 5928,0005
Episode 6796,0009
Episode 7791,00010
Episode 81,070,0002
Episode 9905,0005
Episode 10849,0006
Episode 11789,00010
Episode 121,099,0003
Episode 13920,0005
Episode 14959,0007
Episode 15847,0006
Episode 161,212,0001
Episode 171,019,0002
Episode 181,014,0004
Episode 19819,0008
Episode 201,166,0002
Episode 21890,0007
Episode 22933,0005
Episode 23817,0005
Episode 241,069,0005
Episode 25931,0005
Episode 26902,0003
Episode 27828,0005
Episode 281,156,0002
Episode 291,008,00010
Episode 30953,0003
Episode 31906,0004
Episode 321,279,0001
Episode 331,027,0003
Episode 341,045,0003
Episode 351,032,0003
Episode 361,190,0001
Episode 37946,0001
Episode 38911,0006
Episode 39910,0005
Episode 401,175,0001
Episode 41918,0003
Episode 42980,0006
Episode 431,033,0002

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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Picture: Channel 9

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